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Finland travel route: The Viking trail


Do you think the Vikings places can be found only in Norway or Ireland? It turns out that in Finland there is a Vikings archipelago, and some islands are still inhabited with Vikings descendants! The eastern route of the Vikings passed through the southern islands of Finland. The remains of settlements are found there and even Vikings village is restored on the Rosala island.

The Viking trail in Finland

Viking route on the map of Finland and accommodation along the route


Type of tour: Independent travel (self-drive route) in Finland
Deration: 3-5 says
Best time for trip: June - August


Distances: Kasnas - Helsinki = 185 km
Kasnas - Turku = 100 km
Advice: Vikings holidays may be combined with a trip to Helsinki or Turku.
Or you can rent a cottage on the coast or on the lake, spend a week of summer vacation in Finland and make some theme trips during your stay.
Accommodation near Kasnas on the coast:





1. ROSALA ISLAND AND VIKINGS VILLAGE (N5951'04, E2224'60)



According the limited number of sources survived, one of the Vikings routes was the way to the east and the path passed along the coast of Finland. According to the legends and some discoveries, some Vikings families settled here on the islands. One big port named Orsund was founded by Vikings on one of these Finnish islands. Today this place is a tourist attraction in Finland, Viking Village Rosala.

Vikings route finland rosala

The Rosala Vikings village is situated 25 km to the west from Hanko, in the middle of the beautiful archipelago. The neighbouring islands Rosala and Hitis, attached by the bridge, are part of the Turku archipelago and located 18 kilometers to the north from the most southern inhabited place in Finland, the Bengtskar lighthouse.



Those who watched the historical series of Vikings (History channel), Scandinavian sagas lovers and those who are interested in the history and the Viking period, will find this place and village interesting and worth visiting. The village collection contains archaeological remains from the Orsund place. Historical trail passes through the village along historical remains and reconstructed houses of the Viking Age.

Vikings route finland rosala Shot from VIKINGS film

The Chieftain Hall was the most important building in a Viking village. The Viking women stayed home and took care of the household while the men were out conquering. The wife had all the keys to house, they hanged around her waist as a status symbol.

In wintertime, the Vikings were rather isolated in their houses. The fireplace was placed in the middle, above it the bread was baked, the meat was smoked and the porridge was cooked. It gave light and warmth. Chieftain Hall was the place where the chieftain lived and where everyone gathered to practice the Viking cult. Along the sides of the hall ran a bank of earth that served as a sleeping place at night and a bench by day. Nowadays it is possible to stay over night at the Chieftain Hall and feel like a soldier of Viking army.

Rosla viking village

The Vikings were almost better at handling the rudder than the plough. They where skilful shipbuilders and excellent navigators. Because of their superiority as seamen and soldiers the Vikings conquered land after land. Only after a couple of hundred years the European people learned how to fight the Vikings successfully, and the Viking age ended in the middle of the 11 century.

The reason why the Scandinavians were so superior at sea was that they invented the keel. Boats with a keel could not only be rowed, but sailed as well. The most famous ships are the Gokstads- and Osebergsships in Norway. Only one wreck from the Viking age has been found in Finland. It is a 12- meter long ship that lies at the bottom of the sea, near the Lapuri island in the Gulf of Finland, close to the eastern border.

The Rosala Viking Centre harbours have 2 reconstructed Viking ships, the warship Alvilda and a smaller boat called Hogland. Viking funeral rites was closely connected with ships. Rook symbolized the last voyage of the dead warrior to Valhalla. Deceased Viking was dressed in best clothes and was placed in a boat. All the things that might be needed in the afterlife were also places in the boat - weapons, money, jewellery, food and beer. Even some pets were buried together with the soldiers.

Vicking ship Rosala

Vicking ship Rosala Photo: Vladimir Kezling / www.kezling.ru/

Vicking ship Rosala Photo: Vladimir Kezling / www.kezling.ru/

In the Viking village in Rosala you can also find the weapons of the Vikings, church, blacksmith, a place of sacrifice, stone labyrinths, museum, Vikings musical instruments and many other interesting things. There is also a cafe where you can taste the food of Vikings, and a gift shop.

Rosala Viking center address: Reimarsvagen 5, 25950 Rosala, FINLAND
Website: www.rosala.fi
In the summertime daily cruise from Kasnas including a visit to the Bengtskar lighthouse.

Schedule and ferry reservations


2. BENGTSKAR LIGHTHOUSE (N5943'23, E2229'55)



To Finns, visiting Bengtskar lighthouse is almost like going on a pilgrimage. Its something everyone has to do at some point in their lives.

BENGTSKAR lighthouse is the southernmost point of Finland where people live and the tourist attraction. Lighthouse stands on a small, treeless island. It is the highest lighthouse in Scandinavia. The lighthouse was built in 1906 and until the Winter War, five families lived on the island all year round. In 1968, the mechanism of the lighthouse was replaced by automatic. For many years the lighthouse was empty. But by the end of the 90s lighthouse has experienced a major reconstruction, and since that time it has been a popular tourist attraction in Finland. It is still a real lighthouse and lighthouse keeper family lives there during last 16 years. They also run a small hotel on the island which is open to visitors from June to September.

BENGTSKAR Photo: VisitFinland.com

Romantics can rent an apartment at the lighthouse and spend a couple of nights at the most outermost point the Finnish, listening to the sounds of the sea, the wind and the songs of gulls, meeting the sunrise and sunset in the middle of the sea.

BENGTSKAR Photo: VisitFinland.com

BENGTSKAR Photo: VisitFinland.com

BENGTSKAR Photo: VisitFinland.com

The island can be reached from a little village Kasnas on a small ferry (during summer it runs every day). By the way, Kasnas is a very beautiful place, and there is nice SPA-HOTEL. This is a great place to stop overnight by the sea on the Vikings route.

By the way, the BENGTSKAR island and the lighthouse considered to be one of the prototypes of the lighthouse from Tove Jansson book 'Moominpappa and the sea' and recommended place to visit for those who follow the route: On the footsteps of Moomin.

'Its probably the biggest lighthouse that was ever built. And do you realize that this is the very last island, nobody lives beyond it there?s nothing but sea? Were looking the sea straight in the face, so to speak, and far behind us are all those people who live on islands much nearer to the mainland. Its a wonderful thought, don't you think?' ('Tove Janssons Moominpappa at Sea (Translated by Kingsley Hart))

How to reach the lighthouse.

Ferry sight route Kasnas - Rosala (Viking center) - Bengtskar lighthouse - Kasnas.

BENGTSKAR Phot: Kajus Hedenstrom

BENGTSKAR Photo: Nora Wilson


3. HELSINGHOLMEN ISLAND (N601.795, E2216.835)



A unique place in the Turku Archipelago, one more Vikings island. This is not a stylized village and not a real tourist destination. Helsingholmen island is inhabited island, where only one family lives year-round. Also white horse walks on the island and some other pets (cats, chickens, sheep, dogs and calves).

Do not be surprised, when you will recognize some features of the Ragnar (main Vikings movie hero) in the host of the island. These people are living their normal life of Vikings as if descended from the screen.

There is a hiking trail on the island, excellent beaches for swimming, possibility to order a sauna.

Address: Helsingholm, 25870 Dragsfjard, FINLAND
Contact person: Alf Andersson
Phone: +358-44-3424647
Ferry timetable to the island. The ferry passes by the island a couple of times a week and must be booked in advance to stop on the island.

Turku archipelago

Turku archipelago

Turku archipelago

Turku archipelago


BRIEF DETAILS OF INDEPENDANT SELF-DRIVE ROUTE 'THE VIKING TRAIL' IN FINLAND


Type of tour: Independent travel (self-drive route) in Finland
Deration: 3-5 says
Best time for trip: June - August


Distances: Kasnas - Helsinki = 185 km
Kasnas - Turku = 100 km
Advice: Vikings holidays may be combined with a trip to Helsinki or Turku.
Or you can rent a cottage on the coast or on the lake, spend a week of summer vacation in Finland and make some theme trips during your stay.
Accommodation near Kasnas on the coast:


Have a nice and interesting holiday in Finland!

We are always happy to give more details about holiday in Finland: booking@suomi-holiday.com




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